Analysis

This listing contains all the analytical materials posted on the Russia Matters website. These include: RM Exclusives, commissioned by Russia Matters exclusively for this website; Recommended Reads, deemed particularly noteworthy by our editorial team; Partner Posts, originally published by our partners elsewhere; and Future Policy Leaders, pieces by promising young scholars and policy thinkers. Content can be filtered by genre and subject-specific criteria and is updated often. Gradually we will be adding older Recommended Reads and Partner Posts dating back as far as 2011.
article

Putin, Putinism and the Domestic Determinants of Russian Foreign Policy

Michael McFaul October 19, 2020 Partner Posts
For a complete understanding of Russian foreign policy today, individuals, ideas, and institutions—President Vladimir Putin, Putinism, and autocracy—must be added to the analysis. Putin's ideas about illiberalism, orthodoxy, sovereignty and the West shaped his decision-making in unique ways. 
article

In the Chaos of Syrian Geopolitics, Russia Remains Dominant

Kamal Alam May 15, 2020 Recommended Reads
Recent talk of a rift between Moscow and Damascus may ignore Russia’s historic role in Syria.
article

Russia’s Coronavirus Response Reveals Its Strengths and Weaknesses

Judy Twigg April 11, 2020 Recommended Reads
Some of Russia’s inherent structural and demographic factors may help it cope. Others put it at a disadvantage.
article

Could the Coronavirus Destabilize Russia?

Nikolas K. Gvosdev April 06, 2020 Recommended Reads
There is a very real fear that the virus will overwhelm a brittle and underfunded health system. Combined with an economic shock, that could shake up the Russian political system.
article

The Problem With Fearmongering About Russian Electoral Interference

Joseph Haker and Andrew Paul February 24, 2020 Recommended Reads
Blaming outsiders distracts attention from the very real domestic problems that make "disinformation" campaigns coherent in the first place.
article

Groupthink Resurgent

George Beebe December 22, 2019 Recommended Reads
As our debacles in Vietnam and Iraq demonstrate, expert consensus is not always a recipe for success. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that American policy toward Ukraine has also been steeped in illusions.
article

Turkey and Russia: A Remarkable Rapprochement

Michael A. Reynolds October 24, 2019 Recommended Reads
Turkey's purchase of the S-400 and the broader turn to Russia cannot be ascribed primarily to Erdogan’s supposed erraticism, still less to his Islamist orientation or any ideology aside from mainstream Turkish nationalism.
article

US Foreign Policy Is Life-and-Death. Don’t Expect Any Meaningful Questions About It in the Debates.

Stephen Kinzer July 25, 2019 Recommended Reads
Candidates do not give revealing answers to provocative questions about world affairs because moderators do not ask such questions.
article

Rival Parties Battle for Votes in Southeast Ukraine

Konstantin Skorkin July 19, 2019 Recommended Reads
The schism in the pro-Russia camp is preventing the return of the political model of two Ukraines, a model that is the perfect breeding ground for politicians who boost their ratings by fanning the flames of the interregional confrontation in the country.
research paper

Russia’s Military Posture in the Arctic: Managing Hard Power in a ‘Low Tension’ Environment

Mathieu Boulègue June 28, 2019 Recommended Reads
If Moscow is indeed militarizing the Russian Arctic, the military build-up and the Kremlin’s intentions are, at least for now, defensive in nature.
article

Can Washington and Moscow Agree to Limit Political Interference?

Samuel Charap and Ivan Timofeev June 13, 2019 Recommended Reads
The concept of elaborating norms of non-interference on a mutual basis might be the best way to stabilize U.S.-Russian relations and prevent the damaging episodes of recent years from happening again.
article

In Search of ‘Business Not As Usual’ With Russia

Kadri Liik May 29, 2019 Recommended Reads
Liik argues that the European Union must reconceptualize its relationship with the Kremlin. The door to "business as usual" is already closed.